Gretchen Markle

The Sunrise Project


A Celebration of Sunrise

It all began one morning in August, 2005.  I was up early, early enough to catch the sunrise over the ocean.  Our view is southeast across the open expanse of Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound.  Rows of puffy little clouds were hanging midway up the sky, reflecting the colour of the rising sun.  I decided to paint them.

The following morning I happened to be up again, and that sunrise, while different, was also quite fascinating.  So I painted it, too.  I did the same on the third morning, and the fourth.  Soon I had painted a week of sunrises.  And then I painted another week, and another…

Somewhere along the line, that quiet beginning became a yearlong journey and one of the most rewarding things I have ever done – artistically, emotionally, or spiritually.

In September, 2007, I had a show at the Martin Batchelor Gallery in Victoria, B.C.  It was my first opportunity to exhibit all of the sunrises.  The installation took up an entire 35-foot wall and looked like this: 

Sunrise installation


 This show also appeared at the Campbell River Art Gallery in Campbell River, BC from August to October, 2010.  The Layout was slightly different, but I think it looked wonderful:


Title wall, Campbell River Art Gallery


Installation at the Campbell River Art Gallery



The following are monthly composites of the individual oil pastels of each sunrise:

August, 2005September, 2005October, 2005November, 2005December, 2005January, 2006February, 2006March, 2006April, 2006May, 2006June, 2006July, 2006August, 2006

N.B.  Although I was able to paint the surise every morning, I was not able to stay home for an entire year.  When I travelled - to give workshops or for personal reasons - I simply painted the sunrise wherever I happened to be.